Boomerang bottles: Are wine refillables next?

Because fewer glass containers are being recycled, entrepreneurs re-examine an old idea – reusable glass bottles – to increase wine industry sustainability. Roger Morris looks for the genie in the bottle.

Good Goods' refillable bottle. The label states: "Return me please"
Good Goods' refillable bottle. The label states: "Return me please"

Most Americans over 20 can remember when empty soft drink bottles were returned in a carton to the corner grocer to continue their circular cycle of “fill it, drink it, return it, sterilize it, fill it again.” And while this is standard practice in many sustainability-minded European countries such as Germany, it is a practice now lost on Americans – much like  when empty milk bottles were left outside the kitchen door to be picked up with the next delivery to make their way back to the dairy.

Now, frustrated by the fact that three out of every five glass wine bottles end up in landfills and additionally lured by the popularity of sustainability, American wine industry entrepreneurs are working to financially disrupt the status quo by initiating systems where wine bottles are returned and reused several times. Although the obstacles are numerous, two New York-based companies are having promising success implementing two vastly different business models.  


Methinks you need to speak to Rudy Kurniawan on this subject . . . an acknowledged expert.

~~ Bob

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